• Poverty is Good Business: The Economics of Food Stamps (SNAP)

    May 9, 2015

    Tags: , ,
    Posted in: #99Percent, Democracy

    The Republican House and Democratic Senate reached a compromise last year that cut Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP; what food stamps are now called.) Republicans initially called for $40 billion in cuts, kicking millions of people out of the program altogether, including 170,000 veterans. The compromise cut $8 billion, which affects 800,000 households, according to estimates by the Congressional Budget Office.

    Dollars and Sense

    Dollars first. That $9 billion saved on SNAP would have paid for only 12.5 days of the Iraq War. For the Afghan War, $9 billion would pay for about one month (and that war is now in its thirteenth year, do the math.) America’s newest aircraft carrier cost $13 billion, not including development costs.

    And now sense, or lack of it. A typical family on SNAP/food stamps gets $133 monthly. For three meals a day, $133 breaks down to $1.47 per meal; it is from that amount that the cuts will be taken. Almost 22 percent of American children under age 18 lived in poverty in 2012. The percentage of children under age five living in poverty is over 25 percent. Almost 1 in 10, or 9.7 percent, live in extreme poverty. Number of Americans on food stamps doubled in the last ten years. 47 million Americans now live in poverty, the highest number in two decades.

    Cheaters? A Department of Agriculture report on “trafficking” in the food-stamp program found that only 1.3 percent of benefits were traded for cash.

    Your takeaway: We have the money. We just don’t want to spend it on feeding Americans.

    Poverty is Good Business

    Cops investigating a crime often refer to the Latin term, cui bono, or, “who benefits?” The idea is to find out who has the most to gain from Colonel Mustard’s death in the Drawing Room and start the hunt there.

    So if most Republicans, and many Democrats, want to cut food stamps, who does not want to see the cuts?

    The food business loves food stamps. Wal-Mart, Target and Kroger have made huge profits of $75.2 billion off of food stamp purchases, setting a new record in 2012. And that’s not counting other purchases recipients may make with their own money.

    Never mind how food stamps and other benefits are used by those same retailers to subsidize the low wages they pay their workers. Or how the same bill that would cut food stamps pays out farm subsidies to America’s billionaires, including Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, Charles Schwab and S. Truett Cathy, founder of Chick-fil-A.

    The American Beverage Association, a lobby group that includes Coca-Cola, strongly opposes restricting soda purchases by food stamp recipients. Why? Recipients spend from $1.7 to $2.1 billion annually for sugar-sweetened beverages purchased in grocery stores. Never mind that while alcohol and other unhealthy items are restricted for purchase with stamps, soda stands available.

    Pepsi, candy-maker Mars and the Snack Food Association all registered to lobby the House of Representatives on food stamp restrictions.

    Your takeaway: Mega-corporations are profiting off poverty, with their profits heavily subsidized by taxpayer dollars.


    So who benefits? Not hungry people. Do the math. It’s all about dollars and cents.



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    Copyright © 2019. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity.

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  • Recent Comments

    • Avery said...

      1

      America doesn’t even need aircraft carriers — a fact borne out by the Chinese basically seeing the aircraft carrier as a kind of ceremonial extravagance.

      http://exiledonline.com/war-nerd-china-joins-the-yacht-club/

      05/9/15 9:04 AM | Comment Link

    • RICH BAUER said...

      2

      Darrell Issa, the richest man in Congress, said America has made “our poor somewhat the envy of the world.”

      Asked by CNNMoney whether he feels personally responsible to address income inequality in the United States, the Republican Congressman from California said “absolutely.” But he noted that America is the richest country on earth and implied that those in poverty here are better off than the poor in other nations.”

      Ingrates.

      05/9/15 6:25 PM | Comment Link

    • Bruce said...

      3

      Sentiment shared by their self-styled ‘champion’.
      DEM! Hook with Hilly; get The Willy, who ended welfare as we know it for the impoverished. That goes for Johns, too; where it’s Bush, Breakfast of Champions for JEB, as well! This extended ‘family’ of BusHogs are ALL SOWs ($old Out Whores); utterly unbelievable by the underclass they relentlessly oppress!

      05/9/15 6:41 PM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...

      4

      sheezusHchrist.. my computer dies for 4 days and I miss the whole IC world imploding. fuck. 🙂

      ok ok ok..where were we?.. SNAP vs MIC profits. right. gottcha. I’ve already posted what i said to my scumbag Senator who voted for the cuts. Our SNAP allotment is $179 per month. Try to feed two people for a month on that. With minimum SS..we barely make it every month. Meanwhile, those shameless motherfuckers in Congress can eat shit. If I could, I’d spit in their face.

      My only hope is one day, Murika comes out of it’s daydream and unleashes Thomas Piketty’s prophesy on these bastards. He should know. He’s French.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Piketty

      Although..given the coming food price explosion due to Climate Change..I’ve got $25 that says it won’t be long till full blown insurrection will arrive on Capital Hill. I just hope I’m alive to see these cocksuckers dragged from their granite palaces and burned alive in the street.

      05/10/15 10:08 AM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...

      5

      ps..i forgot a link…

      quote:”my computer dies for 4 days and I miss the whole IC world imploding. fuck. 🙂 “unquote

      http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/may/09/the-courts-stood-up-to-nsa-mass-surveillance-now-congress-must-act

      I bet heads are exploding in the Intelligence headquarters. Clapper’s and Brennen’s especially. Although..someone’s gonna have to clean up all the slime.

      05/10/15 10:25 AM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...

      6

      05/10/15 10:28 AM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      7

      SNAP seems another lost opportunity at improving the lives of the less fortunate. But such an agenda of insisting on healthy foods by limiting certain food and beverage choices seems too controlling by the underclass. Obesity due to poor eating choices perhaps also enriches big pharma and those selling diabetes pills.

      05/10/15 11:49 AM | Comment Link

    • Chuck Nasmith said...

      8

      We should not talk politics on Mothers Day. Frank Zappas bands celebration day is one to “Call Any Vegtable” food, and grow it. The Govt. works for the Facists. Happy Mothers Day Peter, and thanks for educating.

      05/10/15 8:09 PM | Comment Link

    • RICH BAUER said...

      9

      Oh SNAP: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie spent $300,000 of a government state allowance over five years in office to buy food, alcoholic drinks and desserts, according to a new analysis of state records.

      Good thing the pig didn’t have to depend upon food stamps.

      05/11/15 1:01 PM | Comment Link

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